ESL Games for Adverbs of Frequency

cartoon of esl game bang
07 Jan Shelley Vernon 3 Comments

Here are game ideas for teaching adverbs of frequency to primary school children. These games are taken from 176 English Language Games for Children.


1. Present the adverbs of frequency in a way that your pupils relate to and have them join in

Introduce the adverbs of frequency associated with hobbies, sports and activities that your pupils like. Put the following adverbs on the board:
Hardly ever

Start with a listening activity like this one:

Say, "I hardly ever dance." Those students who rarely dance do a thumbs down gesture and repeat the phrase together. Say, "I usually play sport at school on Wednesday." The students who play sports on Wednesday make a thumbs up sign and repeat your sentence. Continue making up sentences along these lines, making sure your topics are relevant to your class. More examples are: I always listen to music in my room. I occasionally chat with my friends late at night when I should be asleep. I often do my homework after school. I never cook dinner for my family. I hardly ever make my bed in the morning. I always put ketchup on my chips. And so on.

Play Brainstorm - you ask questions such as "How often do you play football", the teams call out the answers. Award points for any correct adverb. It does not matter if the some in the team say never and others say often - the main thing is that they are using the adverbs.


Play a true or false game: A pupil from one team says, "I often make chocolate cake" - the other team decide if it is true or false. To prevent cheating, the pupil claiming to often make chocolate cake has to put a tick or a cross on a piece of paper so he or she can't fib if the other team guess correctly! Pupils write 3 sentences down using frequency adverbs - two true and one false - they read them out and the others have to guess which is the false sentence. Do this in pairs if you have a big class but do a couple of demos first in front of the class so everyone knows what to do.


2. Drill the adverbs of frequency with a fun game

Almost any game from 176 English Language Games for Children will do to drill any grammar! Here's the game BANG, adapted to adverbs of frequency.

Students form a circle with the teacher in the middle. The teacher pretends to ‘shoot’ a student in the circle by firing a question at him or her. The teacher's question is, "How often do you...?" However, it is the children on either side of this student who must race to shoot each other with their answer, using the adverb of frequency that corresponds to them, like "Never!" or "Often!" The fastest student with correct English wins, and the other person is out.

If your class is small then continue until only two students are left. These two then take four steps away from each other. Then the teacher calls out the question and the two students turn round and shoot at each other with the answer.

Request silence aside from the words used in the game. Eliminate students who are noisy. Tell them to read the workbook in the meantime.


3. Consolidate with a reading and writing task

Now is the time to open your textbook and have students race to count all the adverbs of frequency in the unit. Otherwise, have students make up fill in the blanks sentences for the class to fill in, or try this writing race.

I hope this blog post helped. Your comments and questions are welcome. If you are stuck for an idea on how to teach a grammar point, just ask!

Get the book in download or in paperback.

new book cover esl illustrated games book

All the best

Kind regards

Shelley Ann Vernon


Loved it.
Excellent ideas. I'll try them in class. Thanks.
Very clever idea, thank you; I'm going to use it in class.

Leave a reply

Follow blog

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 2,548 other followers

Blog categories